Sophie Martin

Sjoerd Seekles

Postdoctoral researcher



Twitter: @SJSeekles


I obtained my master with a specialization of Microbial Biotechnology and Health in 2017 at the Leiden University, Leiden, the Netherlands. Afterwards, I joined the group of dr. Arthur Ram as a PhD candidate in Leiden to study the preservation stress resistance and heterogeneity of Aspergillus niger spores. During this time, I mainly focused on fungal genomes of food spoilage isolates and their genes to study the stress resistance of fungal spores. I successfully defended my thesis in January 2022 ( and subsequently joined the lab of Sophie Martin in February 2022 to study the molecular mechanisms behind mate choice preference and polarity patch dynamics in mating of wild fission yeast strains.

Fungal genetics & genomics. Biotechnology. Bioinformatics. In my spare time I like to spend time with my wife and daughters hiking and play (board)games.

Publication list:

• Seekles, S.J., van den Brule, T., Punt, M., Dijksterhuis, J., Arentshorst, M., Ijadpanahsaravi, M., Roseboom, W., Meuken, G., Ongenae, V., Zwerus, J. and Ohm, R.A., 2023. Compatible solutes determine the heat resistance of conidia. Fungal Biology and Biotechnology, 10(1), p.21.

• Arentshorst, M., Kooloth Valappil, P., Mózsik, L., Regensburg‐Tuïnk, T.J., Seekles, S.J., Tjallinks, G., Fraaije, M.W., Visser, J. and Ram, A.F., 2023. A CRISPR/Cas9‐based multicopy integration system for protein production in Aspergillus niger. The FEBS Journal, 290(21), pp.5127-5140.

• Seekles S.J., 2023. The breaking of fungal spore dormancy: A coordinated transition. PLoS Biology, 21(4), e3002077.

• Seekles, S.J., Punt, M., Savelkoel, N., Houbraken, J., Wösten, H.A., Ohm, R.A. and Ram, A.F.J., 2022. Genome sequences of 24 Aspergillus niger sensu stricto strains to study strain diversity, heterokaryon compatibility and sexual reproduction. G3 Genes| Genomes| Genetics, 12(7), jkac124.

• Seekles, S.J., van Dam, J., Arentshorst, M. and Ram, A.F.J., 2022. Natural variation and the role of Zn2Cys6 transcription factors SdrA, WarA and WarB in sorbic acid resistance of Aspergillus niger. Microorganisms, 10(2), p.221.

• Punt M., Seekles S.J., van Dam J.L., de Adelhart Toorop C., Martina R.R., Houbraken J., Ram A.F.J., Wösten H.A.B. and Ohm, R.A., 2022. High sorbic acid resistance of Penicillium roqueforti is mediated by the SORBUS gene cluster. PLoS Genetics, 18(6): e1010086.

• van den Brule, T., Punt, M., Seekles, S.J., Segers, F.J., Houbraken, J., Hazeleger, W.C., Ram, A.F.J., Wösten, H.A., Zwietering, M.H., Dijksterhuis, J. and den Besten, H.M., 2022. Intraspecific variability in heat resistance of fungal conidia. Food Research International, 156, p.111302.

• Seekles, S.J., Teunisse, P.P., Punt, M., van den Brule, T., Dijksterhuis, J., Houbraken, J., Wösten, H.A. and Ram, A.F.J., 2021. Preservation stress resistance of melanin deficient conidia from Paecilomyces variotii and Penicillium roqueforti mutants generated via CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing. Fungal biology and biotechnology, 8(1), pp.1-13.

• Ellena, V., Seekles, S.J., Vignolle, G.A., Ram, A.F.J. and Steiger, M.G., 2021. Genome sequencing of the neotype strain CBS 554.65 reveals the MAT1–2 locus of Aspergillus niger. BMC genomics, 22(1), pp.1-16.